Jay Fox's Dining Guide

Stuff - And lotsa of it

“The egg cream is psychologically the opposite of circumcision — it pleasurably reaffirms your Jewishness.”Mel Brooks

IT’S BEEN SOMEWHILE SINCE I WROTE A COLUMN ON “STUFF”, or potpourri or whatever you wish to call it. I call it ramblings, cuz that’s what it really is. There are facts, comments, observations and stuff. It’s also been a while since I’ve done some bashin’, so today’s a good day for that too.

Question: Why did the DCPA become the DPAC? Isn’t that lots harder to pronounce? And what was wrong with the old name? Why do folks do stupid things when they don’t have enuf time to do the things they’re supposed to do? And who made that decision? I didn’t vote on it and last election I damn near voted on everything. I think there was a ballot question on “how many citizens are permitted to use the telephone during a rerun of Oprah.”

I really don’t like Oprah. The woman has too much power, and way too many viewers and readers that believe everything she sez or does is good for America and the world. She endorses Barack Obama and bamm: he’s the new Wonder of the World. She reads a book and it becomes an instant best seller. She wrecks her car and zamm: her body shop is the finest in America. She’s almost as influential as Tom Martino. Maybe even paid almost as well. Now if she were to hire me as her accountant, I might have a different view.

From a recent article in The Colorado Lawyer, “The Delta County Bar Association (DCBA) held a “Burger and Bun” event… The event was attended by approximately thirty people, including friends and family of DCBA members.” Must not be a lot of Delta County lawyers or they just don’t like buggers out thar.

Another great eatery has closed its doors forever. Valente’s, a Wheat Ridge landmark since 1964, shuttered its doors last month. Ray Sr., age 81, finally decided to retire. The announcement sed that the restaurant and the land and building would all be sold. Ain’t never gonna be the same. I remember the day I told Ray that his buggers were too small, so he had the chef make me a (cooked perfectly) full pound bugger that was 2-die-4. No one ever made pizza as good as The Original at Valente’s.

Also on the closed list is one of muh favs, Prime 121, Cherry Creek’s premier steakhouse. It never recovered from the bad name that Bob’s had when it was in that location. It also suffered from the undeserved popularity of Elway’s right down the street. Great grub.

Another fav gone is the Gaslamp Grill (9199 W. Alameda Ave.) which struggled to find a niche that the neighborhood would support. I luved the food and the ambiance but not enuf others did. Consistency in the kitchen became their ultimate downfall.

My fav to go was Chama, that snobby pretentious Mexican eatery in Belmar. Chef Owner Sean Yontz opted to do other things rather than be involved in his newest restaurant. The prices for food were outrageous and the portions served were so small that the entire platter of meat did not fit on a single tiny fork. And then they refused to put out linen napkins cuz “they wanted it to have a neighborhood feel.” Right. The neighbors sed adios.

Last but not least was the tremendous bakery, Gerard’s, which served so many of Denver’s finest eateries with daily fresh baked goods.

I told you that it wasn’t all rosy out there. Our fav BBQ place, Piggin’ Out (9987 Morrison Rd., 303/988-2749, www.pigginout.com) has gone to winter hours, meaning they are closed Mondays and Tuesdays, the latter being family dinner nite at the Fox household, all 14 of the mob wanting to be fed. Quite often we give G a break from cooking and order in. PO is our fav and now it’s either move family dinner nite or find a new BBQ for the winter.

On the giant lot between two of muh favs, Home Café (2640 W. Hampden Ave., 303/762-8862) and Fat Fender’s Grill and Saloon (2490 W. Hampden Ave., 303/781-9408, www.fatfendersgrilleandsaloon.com) sits a BBQ place called Countrytime BBQ. I had several locals tell me it was either very good and reasonably priced or lousy and way too pricey. Depending on who was doing the tellin’ I vote with the latter. The smoked brisket was harder than the Cuda’s heart and as dry as a spinster on a Saturday night. It was so hard and dry that I coulda built an office building with it. The portions of cole slaw and baked beans were about half an ounce each but definitely not cheap. The beans came from the Campbell’s lady with a bit of doctoring. The ribs were tasty enuf but were burnt to a crisp on the outside. I spent over $35 and felt cheated. Don’t need to go back here. They opened about a year ago, and ain’t gonna be around to see next summer. I’m told that staff gets so busy napping they don’t always answer the tele. Methinks they’re out back having a smoke. And it’s takeout only.

There are few companies that I actually dislike. One is Starbucks, another is Chipotle Mexican Grill. I think Steve Ells, the CEO and founder of Chipotle is an odious moke, but fair is fair, and when even the bad guy gets screwed, I’ll jump right into the mix to set the record straight.

Recently the stock of Chipotle was downgraded because their earnings were a penny a share less than what some analyst expected. While I won’t go into the place, that’s a screw. Who are these “analysts” and how dare they literally cause a stock to decline cuz the profit is off 1 cent a share from their predictions. Are they God? Of course the report was misleading to begin with, saying that profits rose 23 percent. That’s whole dollars and doesn’t take into account how many more stores there were from the previous reporting period. Profits could double if you had three times as many stores and had less profits per store. Is that the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? The media loves to report profits as “plunged” when really they dropped a few pennies. What does that mean? Give us all the facts, ma’am. Maybe a few basic courses in economics and accounting would help those geniuses that cause the stock market to rise and fall on their erroneous information.

Now that I ranted and raved, I’m off to a bad day, so I’ll say, “Sayonara” and head out to get a bugger.

Cya.

Jay Fox is The Statesman’s resident gourmand. Reach him at jay@jayfoxcpa.com.